Do You Want Jon Hamm To Play Superman?

Published 5 years ago by , Updated July 12th, 2013 at 10:16 am,

Our friend and ex-Screen Ranter Jamie Williams over at Think McFly Think has posted an update on the upcoming Superman reboot movie, The Man of Steel, which is being produced over at Warner Bros. under the guidance of David Goyer and Chris Nolan, with Jonathan Nolan potentially directing the film.

Actually, this latest “update” isn’t really that – it’s more a continuation of a rumor floated by TMT from earlier this year, stating that WB is considering  Mad Men star Jon Hamm for the role of Superman. TMT made it clear in both reports that the studio has simply been considering Hamm for the part (not to be confused with making an offer), but that hasn’t stopped EW from firing back that Hamm’s reps haven’t heard about the deal and that “Superhamm is just a dream.”

Earlier this year, MTV caught up with Hamm and asked the actor first-hand about the fan push to have him wear the iconic cape. The actor’s response:  “It’s a tricky road to go down with some of those heroes, because they’re not flawed. Superman is Superman – he’s invincible, so where’s the drama?

Well, we know that Goyer and the Nolans are working hard to bring the drama to the next Superman movie, and while these comic book casting sagas can be a migraine for fanboys (See: Captain America and the new Spider-Man), until we know for sure who is going to be donning the red and blue outfit next, I thought I should at least ask you guys: Do you want Jon Hamm to play Superman?


Of course, the first issue to discuss is the age factor. Jon Hamm would be forty before he ever stepped in front of cameras to play Superman, and for some fans (and studio powers that be) that is simply too old. Personally, I’ve never been a big believer in the notion that an actor’s age affects their ability to play a superhero – I’ve always thought that what truly mattered was how the actor’s swagger and stature meshed with the swagger and stature of the superhero they’re playing.

Just take a look at the current roster of actors playing some of our favorite superheroes: Robert Downey Jr. has been in his forties since he first stepped into the Iron Man franchise, however, his eccentric rapscallion personality has been the perfect fit for the eccentric rapscallion persona that has always defined Tony Stark. Chris Hemsworth is in his twenties, but with a full-grown beard and time well-spent in the gym pumping iron, he now looks gruff and tough enough to play a convincing Thor. Meanwhile, Chris Evans is about to turn thirty, yet many fanboys think he has too much of a baby face to pull off the commanding stature of an iconic hero like Captain America.

On the DC movie side: Ryan Reynolds will be trying to prove himself as a proper Hal Jordan when Green Lantern hits theaters next summer – though the fact that Reynolds will be in his mid-thirties has little to do with that issue. Christian Bale was only in his early thirties when he suited up for Batman Begins, however by the time Nolan’s Batman 3 hits theaters in summer 2012 Bale will be staring at age 40. Taking all that into account (especially on the DC side of things), Jon Hamm’s age should in no way restrict him from playing Superman.

More to the point: there is a reason they call him “SuperMAN.” The character (as you can see in just about every piece of artwork inspired by him) has the look of a strong, chiseled and mature man, not so much a man with boyish looks. So if the character looks like a mature man, should there be any debate about casting a mature (read: older) man in the role? Not in my mind – though I’m sure that Smallville fans might have a few points of contention…


superman ross016 Do You Want Jon Hamm To Play Superman?

Now, we’ve heard names like Zach Levi, Brandon Routh and Tom Welling all being nominated or rumored for the role of Superman, and since all three of those guys are in their late twenties / early thirties, they certainly fit the age range. However, there are superheroes and then there are superhero icons – those heroes who have become household names not so much because of the comic books, TV shows, movies and other merchandising of their characters, but rather because they represent some profound ideal or symbol that resonates with many, many people across the world. Captain America is one of those heroes and Superman is certainly another.

As I’ve already mentioned, Chris Evans being cast as Captain America has a lot of people nervous (Evans himself among them). Cap is simply a guy who has a bright shining aura of red, white and blue heroism surrounding him at all times, while Chris Evans…does not. When that whole Captain America cast saga was unfolding, the big debate was over which actor could do more than wear Cap’s costume – we all wanted to know who could possibly embody his spirit (and Jon Hamm’s name came up then too, might I remind you).

Well, the guy playing the role of Superman has a harder job than that. Not only does the character come with big red boots that need to be filled, there was actually a guy (Christopher Reeve, you may have heard of him) who successfully filled those boots and managed to own the character in full body and spirit – and this was long before the days of muscle-padded costumes and CGI effects. While some people thought Brandon Routh was the second coming of Reeve, many, many, many, other people felt no such love  or adoration; in my opinion, Jon Hamm is a guy who could succeed where Routh did not.

Lets break it down: Hamm is tall, dark haired, handsome (I’ll say that just once!), all-American in appearance, with a jaw line that looks like it was shaped after a 1950s comic book character. Due to his role as troubled ad man extraordinaire Don Draper on Mad Men, Hamm has shown an impressive range of dramatic chops (inner turmoil), while women already fantasize about being swept up in his arms and carried off. Necessary ingredients for a proper Superman. Because of the actor’s hilarious turns as a pretty-boy geek on 30 Rock, fanboys can already imagine him in a pair glasses with tussled hair, bringing that “Aw shucks” friendly awkwardness you need from Clark Kent. In Ben Affleck’s upcoming crime thriller The Town, Hamm will show his boiling intensity and action movie physicality, playing a lawman who is  hell-bent on collaring a ring of Boston crooks. In The Day The Earth Stood Still… um, let’s just forget that Hamm was in that flick.

jon hamm clark kent Do You Want Jon Hamm To Play Superman?

Hamm on ’30 Rock’ – Clark Kent appeal?

The point is: despite the fact that Smallville fans love Welling, or that Superman Returns fans think Routh “wasn’t that bad,” there are few leading men who can convince movie goers the world over that he is our all-powerful protector, while simultaneously convincing us that this godlike figure is still able to disguise himself in plain sight as the caricature of an average schmo. It’ll be even more complicated to convince a modern audience that Superman is vulnerable (emotionally speaking), insecure, and yes, even lonely.

When you properly explore the character there’s actually a lot of deep-seeded emotion and turmoil that comes with The Man of Steel (see: Richard Donner’s Superman II). I think that Hamm is definitely one of those chosen few who can bring both the look and “the drama” to a character who so badly needs to be seen as human again. This will not be lightweight acting if DC/WB wants to do Superman justice in their next cinematic venture – but Hamm is one actor I certainly believe in for the job.

The question is, do you agree?

If you want to talk more about what you expect from the next Superman movie, be sure to read our article “How to Reboot Superman“.

Sources: Think McFly Think , MTV & EW

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  1. Problem with Superman Returns was that they couldnt even use Truth, Justice and the American Way. Routh was pretty believable as Superman to me. I think they just didnt show enough of the Fortress. Tom Welling also be cool as Superman it would be nice after 10 years.

  2. There is no other choice. Hamm is built for the part of Superman, and I don’t care if he’s 80 years old. He nails the look, he could nail the part, is at the height of his popularity and has the perfect opportunity to give the Super franchise what it deserves.


    • Jon Hamm IS Superman. It’s a no brainer.

  3. I thought Brandon Routh resembled Christopher Reeve portrayal in the 1978 Superman film,, however it seemed he did it like that as more of a dedication then a mockery, I mean if Christopher Reeve was alive today, and sat thru “superman returns” He would have thought wow! what a great impression of me! bottom line,, Brandon Routh did great! and captures SUPERMAN persona like no one else in hollywood!

  4. maybe Billy Zane 10 years ago, I thought Superman Returns! was a waste of $ both for the audience and the studio that produced it! I saw it w my girl friend at the time an we both thought it could have been alot better, however we also both agreed Brandon Routh did play the character w insane charisma and was totally convincing as The man of steel, I just don’t think anyone else has what it takes to wear the cape..

    • roth had the role down.i liked superman returns.

      if they are going to start over they still should use roth.

  5. I liked Superman Returns myself. It wasn’t great but was still good. I don’t see why not just ignore Superman Returns if bothers people so much and have the new film take place after Superman 2 again. Bringing only Routh back or use Tom Welling in the title role. Not that i really like the Superman score but id rather have this new film follow from Superman 2 instead of being another reboot. Another plus for that being done that way is that we see some of Superman’s best villains in the same universe in this order,

    1. Superman: The Movie – Lex Luthor, General Zod, Ursa, Non cameos
    2. Superman 2: General Zod, Ursa, Non,& Lex Luthor
    3. Superman: Man Of Steel: – Supposely Lex Luthor & Brainiac

    If a movie like Predators is intended to ignore the AVP films, why not have Superman: Man of Steel Ignore Superman Returns and continue from Superman 2 one more time?

  6. @Kofi: This article just gave me goosebumps; it provides both a solid argument and great writing. I want that experience of Superman brought to the big screen and I think Snyder and Nolan are the perfect pairing. I hope that they don’t choose someone really young.

  7. Superman returns was entertaining but had no soul..
    Jon hamm would be an excellent choice got a broader acting range
    dissapointed that Nolan himself is not directing Snyder will deliver a brilliant visual movie but will it have any depth or drama…
    Daniel day would make a brilliant general Zod or at least Zachary Quinto..
    But i rather watch superman battle doomsday or Darkseid to the death.

  8. Yes to Hamm, absolutely yes. The man CAN act and looks the part.

  9. No more inexperienced, unknown actors who are 25 years old to play Superboy!

    Hamm would rock as SuperMAN!

  10. NOOOOO!!!!!!! Please stay true to the show that has been on for the last ten years! There should be no question as to who should play superman in the upcoming superman movie. Tom Welling is the ONLY option. I will refuse to see this superman movie without him and Erica Durance along with Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor if they decide to put lex in the movie (and the rest of the cast should be taken from smallville as well). Using the characters from smallville would make it’s large fanbase extremely happy, plus Tom Welling and the rest of the cast already know the characters so well from playing them for so long AND are hotter than anyone else they could pick for these roles. Please don’t ruin this movie by casting anyone else!

  11. Anyone who’s read All-star Superman or Kingdom come must agree – Hamm is one of the few who can do it justice.. he’d make a good cap’ too..
    And superman is really a deep character with terrific amounts of inner turmoil and a feeling of deep alienation from the human race – he’s literally a god among mortals – that only Hamm can do justice to.

  12. No more Tom “lipstick” Welling!! No more Brandon “I don’t know if he is…” Rough!
    No SuperBOY!
    No Super”THIS GUY IS MAN?”

    SUPERMAN is Jon Hamm!!!

    • ops…IS THIS GUY…?

  13. YES!!! As a Superman fan (Comic Books) I think this is a perfect match. I think Smallville did a fine job of showing the “boy” but as someone said before this is “superMAN’.

    Jon Hamm has the look, there is no question about that. Hamm also can play a serious side so his acting actually has some depth. Too many times when comics cross over to the big screen there is this belief that since it is a comic book it needs to be “kookie”.

    Classic point as to where DC got it right was the Batman (reboot) it was dark just like the comic book. Not a bunch of clowns dancing in the street, oMG the last Batman series (first was good) got horrible towards the end (thank God for the new series).

    As far as age, again SuperMAN. Look at robert Downeny Jr. the guy is IronMan. I will be the first to admit I was a bit uneasy but with Downey’s past troubles (being a true hero to over come those) he plays the perfect Anthony Stark.

    DC do it right don’t just find a “pretty boy” find Superman and Hamm is that guy.

  14. *sorry correction on my previous post…Tom Welling wouldn’t want to be typcasted as Superman for the rest of his life as an actor…

  15. Tom Welling is the face of Superman. Everyone should see that. He is already in character from Smallville and does a great job at it. No one would want some old man in his forties rescuing them, they would want a younger man who can still kick ass.

  16. I agree he may be too old, only because they will make more than one movie. He’s just too old for a franchise like Superman. If they were to make only one movie, I say go for it. And for the love of God, please do not cast Welling. I stopped watching Smallville because of all the crappy storylines surrounding kryptonite. I have been reading Superman comics for 24 years and I think people like me know who could fill the boots, and Welling aint him.

  17. Tom Welling is SUPERMAN he has spent more time as the chather and there getting ready to make him superman on the show lets go 4 broke and hire the right man for the job for god sakes.

  18. Jon Hamm was born to play Superman! No one can transition between the awkward humor of Clark Kent and the square-jawwed confidence of Superman better than he can. Superman is a timeless icon that requires a specific look. One of the strengths of the character is that he has a wise, almost fatherly-figure quality about him. An actor in his 40’s would be perfect for the role because he would have the life experience necessary to play what is essentially a living god. He’s had his heart broken, he’s lost loved ones, and he’s humble enough to know that he doesn’t always have all of the answers. Brandon Routh just didn’t seem old enough. The events of ‘Superman Returns’ supposedly took place five years after Superman 2. How old was he when he started working for the Daily Planet? 19? I’m sure the average 14-year-old thinks that Tom Welling is the perfect age to play the part, but as a nerd in his 30’s, I would have a hard time entrusting the salvation of the planet to someone in his 20’s. Super powers or no super powers. And that’s where the iconography comes in. Superman is a symbol for everyone. Regardless of age, race, or gender. Movies have a tendency to want to cast flavor of the month actors and actresses rather than take risks on good, solid casting. This is how you get Ben Affleck as Daredevil instead of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine or Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. No, if you look at how Superman has been portrayed in comics and animation throughout the decades, Jon Hamm is the obvious best choice for the role. You don’t even have to use your imagination to see Clark Kent in Don Draper.
    Also, Zooey Deschanel would be the perfect combination of sexy/girl-next-door to play Catwoman and Sonia Aquino should be cast as Wonder Woman. Think about it.

  19. after seeing Hamm in the Town he should definitely play supes

    at the least if they do a adaptation of Frank Millers Dark Knight Returns he should definitely play the boyscout –